Talk Less; Listen More

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that I talk way too much. Not that there’s anything wrong with talking, but I find that, when I am with a group of people, I don’t listen enough because I’m too busy talking.

Last night when the Crankee Yankee and I went to our Christmas social with our train friends I tried an experiment. I listened more and I talked less. Of course, if someone asked me a question I’d answer, but in the main I started asking people what was new in their lives, and so on.

And you know what? It was a wonderful experience! For the most part, everyone has stories to tell and enjoys catching up on each others’ lives. Everyone is involved in their own lives and families, there are joys and sorrows, gain and loss, and so on.

My Irish grandmother used to talk about people she knew who liked to “shine their behinds.” This means that there are people who love talking about themselves non-stop. Unwittingly, I now realize I was myself shining my behind!

So last night was wonderful; I got caught up with everyone, and best of all: I listened. Although our group loves trains and everything about them, they are people with lives, joys and sorrows of their own. It was a pure pleasure to sit back and listen. Of course when asked I would tell folks how we are doing and so forth, but mainly it was a joy to just sit back and listen.

I guess I could say that my early New Year’s resolution is to listen more and talk less. Since I do love to talk, it’s a challenge sometimes to keep my mouth shut and just listen. Somewhere I read in an advice column about talking too much; their advice was this: “keep your tongue firmly on the roof of your mouth.” Try it and you’ll find that you are talking less and listening more.

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